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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys, I've been a long time reader but never posted too much before. I'm going to put together a "budget" planted tank for now so I am using extra things I have around the house. If this goes well and my 150g SW tank sells soon, I'll be going for a 180-220g planted tank. But first things first, the 40g. Here is the equipment list I have right now. I need to know what T5 bulbs I should get for the tank though.

AGA 40g breeder tank
Marineland Penguin 350 HOB filter
2 36" dual T5 Light fixtures (need to order new bulbs for plants)
40lbs of Supernaturals Black Sand (does not affect pH)
Marineland 250 watt Submersible heater
DIY Co2 with DIY Diffuser

I'm trying to keep my costs to a MINIMUM, that is why I'm not getting aquasoil or anything like that and I've had plenty success in the past with the supernaturals sand. Am I missing anything under the equipment list?

The fish that I am thinking about are
10 Glo Light Tetras
10 Cardinal Tetras
6 Panda Corys
a pair of German Blue Rams

Any suggestions!?

And as far as plants go, I'd like to have some Java Fern on some of the driftwood, maybe some java moss on the tops of the wood but that is as far as I have gotten. Any suggestions would be grand! Thanks and sorry for the long post.

Adam
 

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get a canister filter (like the zoomed) so you won't lose your CO2, you'll need every bit you can get from DIY CO2. I would recommend two bottles of DIY CO2 and just alternate when you change them to keep levels steady as possible. I've had my 12 gallon tank set up successfully for 7-8 years with cheap aquarium gravel with laterite as a thin bottom layer. I've had crypts, anubias, moss, dwarf sag and java fern grow really well in this tank. I have 32 watts of light, how many watts will you have with those fixtures? I would aim for about 2 watts per gallon, low light plants don't need much especially with the low profile of the 40 breeder. I don't run any heaters in either of my tanks as the room heat and the lights keep them warm enough, YMMV. Just worry about lights, CO2 and filtration, the rest is small potatoes. Actually you'll have such a low fish load, you're filtration needs will be low - you might want to go with just a powerhead with a pre-filter or something.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you for the suggestions. I just found an old CO2 system with the canister, and full diffuser(bubble goes side to side to the top), and the lights are 21w each bulb so I'll have 84 watts of light on the tank. I'm not buying a canister filter for this(I';; get an FX5 when I get the big tank) and the XP3 I have will be waaaay too much. I tried it on my custom 38 gallon tank (60x12x12) and the current was way too strong. Well, everything else looks pretty good. I just need to get it rolling and order bulbs. Anything else, or ideas, let me know.

adam
 

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The XP3 will not be way too much. I use an Eheim 2128 on my 40 breeder and I wish it were a little stronger. An 18" wide tank dissipates the outflow much better than a 12" wide tank. Without pressurized CO2, keep your lighting and ferts to a minimum or else your tank is going to become an algae farm.

Stick with simple plants and focus on the aquascape. I've seen amazing tanks with nothing more than java fern, anubias, and moss.
 

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I use an XP3 on my 40BR and it's about right, a little under powered if you leave it too long between floss changes or the tubes get clogged.
Just be sure to point your spray bar / outlet carefully and it'll be perfect.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The other problem I've hit is where the tank is going to be. I cannot have a canister filter because it will be on a dresser in my room. I also checked out my odyssea lights again and they are high output T5 and the bulbs are 39 watts each, so I'll have 156 watts which is 3.9wpg. I'm going to start simple, see how it goes and upgrade if I need to, but like I said, I'm trying to keep it with things I already have.

Adam
 

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Adam....First of all, a planted tank does not do well with any HOB filter. It off gases the c02 injected. More so with a 40G. Thats like blowin up a balloon with your mouth an expectin to sail away into the wild blue yonder. Of course it just falls to the ground.

Your talking about a 40G diy c02 system with a HOB, then talkin about a 180-220G system down the road. This is night an day!

Do you want advice on your 40G diy system? If you do, Stuff the HOB, get yerself an equivalent canister filter an try it out. An XP2 would work great with this system, an is pretty cheap. DIY c02 will work ok with this setup.

If you are serious about gettin the 180-220G, get the XP5, an filter the 40 with that. You can still go diy c02 an turn the XP5 as low as it will go. Then when ya get the 180-220G, its just a matter of gettin another XP5.

You will need a pressurized system though! So why not get a pressurized system now for the 40G?? Screw the DIY!! Might as well cause you will definately need it later on down the road!

Bottom line is, look to the future an get now what you will utilize later.

tc
 
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